Behind this $28 million Sydney apartment block lies a secret that few people know

Units don’t have marble or granite countertops in the kitchen, air-conditioning, or a garbage chute, which are standard in many apartment blocks. But they were so well planned that Thalis said the judges had no doubt that it would win an award.

With 52 one- and two-bedroom units, Bigge Street is home to about 80 people, including Jennifer Porter and her adult son, Danny Sullivan. Both have serious health problems and have been homeless or living in overcrowded apartments for eight years.

Porter and Sullivan’s friends and family can’t believe how lucky they are. “It’s perfect,” she told Cox, congratulating him on the awards. “It’s our place of honor,” Porter said.

Porter, a Moree Kamilaroi woman who is now living at a permanent address, said the first things she hopes to do is get her teeth fixed, see a doctor and get well enough to volunteer at a local surgical shop.

Cox was touched by her feedback. He said it was important there was nothing to stigmatize the block or brand it as public housing.

“When people come here, we don’t want them to think, ‘I’m going into public housing.'” You know, “my poor friend whose life isn’t working out and who lives in a poor apartment,” he said. “I want them to think, ‘What a beautiful apartment you have.’ ”

That’s why they set up the mailboxes in the foyer. This avoided the usual clutter of junk mail.

They may not have granite or marble splashbacks, but these Bigge Street apartment kitchens are about the same size as those found in upscale apartments.

They may not have granite or marble splashbacks, but these Bigge Street apartment kitchens are about the same size as those found in upscale apartments. Credit: gymnast

Cox said many of the finishes resembled those used by Turner on private construction projects. But on Bigge Street everything worked. “Nothing is decorative.”

Precast concrete was used because it adds character. Painted surfaces have been virtually eliminated. The horizontal and vertical slats added a pop of color but were designed to provide more shade than in an air-conditioned apartment. They also hid the washing lines on the balconies, which was allowed because it was public housing.

As of 30 June 2022, 57,550 people were waiting for social housing in NSW. Of these, 6519 were priority applicants, up from 5801 priority applicants and 44,127 other applicants in June 2021.

Cox said well-designed and managed public housing projects like Bigge Street can “show nervous communities and communities” that solutions exist that bring equity and diversity to local neighborhoods.


The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute has found that people who reject affordable and public housing often use planning-related issues such as parking or design to mask concerns about the characteristics and behavior of future tenants. This resulted in some housing projects being abandoned and others being delayed, leading to skyrocketing costs.

President of the NSW branch of the Australian Institute of Architects Adam Haddow said projects like Bigge Street had the potential to tackle the stigma of social housing and overcome resistance from tenants in older social housing to moving to higher quality units.

“To most people, public housing is run-down 1950s walk-in brick buildings that offer little personal security and poor access to the road — meaning overgrown gardens, abandoned shopping carts, and abandoned things,” he said.


A spokesman for NSW Land and Housing Corporation said Bigge Street is one of seven projects developed under the design-and-construct-delivery model in the past five years. Others have won awards, including McGregor Westlake’s project in St. Marys, which received an award in 2022. Rather than an architect developing a design, the company’s initiative results in a contractor and architect working together to develop a building that is affordable and attractive.

The morningThe ing Edition newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Login here.

Justin Scaccy

InternetCloning is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button